Simon Pegg: New Star Trek Films “result of execs favouring familiarity” + New Paul Trailer

Earlier today Star Trek’s new Scotty Simon Pegg made a comment that the recently rebooted Star Trek films were examples of how Hollywood has run out of new ideas. More details below, plus the red band trailer for Pegg’s Paul.


Pegg talks Star Trek vs. New Ideas

Earlier on Wednesday Star Trek’s new Scotty Simon Pegg tweeted a link to an article in GQ Magazine with the endorsement "Brand recognition is the death of ideas. Great article about the state of the film industry". The article he linked to was "The Day the Movies Died" by Mark Harris, which is a critique on how "bad things are in Hollywood" and how today’s marketing-driven and demographic-obsessed studio system chooses franchises and brands over new ideas. The GQ article even cites the 2012 Star Trek sequel as one of the examples, deriding it as a "A sequel to a reboot of an adaptation of a TV show." Shortly after linking to the GQ article, Pegg posted the following comment on the new Trek films, seemingly to both indict and praise them at the same time:

Many of Pegg’s followers had pointed out to the actor that he has played a part in appearing in franchise films, including Star Trek and Mission Impossible. Pegg replied back saying that he has appeared in both of these franchises "Because of JJ [Abrams]"

While it is true that Star Trek was a known brand, it still took some intestinal fortitude for Paramount execs to go ahead with a big budget reboot of the franchise so soon after the disappointing returns for Enterprise and Nemesis.

New Red Band Paul Trailer

In other news, Simon Pegg’s new movie Paul is a big hit in the UK. The sci-fi comedy is headed to the US on March 18th. On Thursday Universal released a ‘red band’ trailer for the R rated film. Check it out

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I like Simon Pegg.

I can definitely see both sides of the argument — the lack of, or unwillingness to try, fresh ideas versus the desire to reinvent, reinvigorate and hopefully deepen an existing property. As with everything else, however, one really has to examine each work independently of the others. Star Trek 2009, and hopefully its spawn, is a resounding success in its rebooting or re-imagining. I’d say the same about BSG 2005, Batman Begins, and Casino Royale. Sometimes, the earlier works simply did not take full advantage of the richness inherent in the material. On the other hand, there’s always the dross: Lost in Space (1998), The Avengers (1998), Alien versus Predator, and countless others.

Love the new Paul movie. Keep on going Simon…. Say hi from me to JJ.

Well isn’t his own new movie basically “ALF” on a road trip?

The article that he linked to is very true of Holywood these days, they would rather play it safe than take a chance with something new.

That is why there are too many reboots and remakes in Hollywod these days, more so than ever before. They are out of ideas.

Not all of them are bad Batman was rebooted spectacularly and, despite my gripes with some of the changes he made, Star Trek XI was a great in getting Star Trek big again.

But we have also had pointless remakes such as The Day The Earth Stood Still. I loved the original Robert Wise movie but Hollywood crapped on it when they did that awful remake with Keanu Reeves.

The lack of ideas in Hollywood is why I am worried that Khan will be redone. It is my fav Trek movie and one of my fav episodes and Khan is one of my favourite villains but I feel a redo would not be as good and sully the original to a new generation.

The thing I hate most about remakes is that for some of the younger mainstream kids they will have no interest in seeing the original.

Wow, an actor speaking out against gutless execs.

Just one of many reasons I like this guy.

I didn’t like his take on Scotty, but I do like the way this guy thinks. But for him (and the article he linked to) to point out that Hollywood lacks originality is rather obvious, isn’t it? I remember an article here on TrekMovie about a Paramount exec’s comments to investors about the studios success with it’s many ‘franchises’. Not a word was said about anything new, original or exciting!

Speaking of which, there are many here who want to take it a step further and have old Star Trek episodes rehashed! That is why Hollywood is so creatively bankrupt. Moviegoers are not demanding originality!

He’s got a point and I totally agree with it. But…..don’t bite the hand that feeds you!

Well I loved the reboot does that mean Simon Pegg didn’t like the new film:/

I don’t see this as biting the hand that feeds him. Above all else he’s fan and is just as entitled to comment, from that perspective.

Paramount seeing Nemesis and Enterprise as failures. Sure I can accept that. I don’t think the lack of any turn out for TNG’s last film can be disputed. I was very fond of ST:ENT and could dispute that all day long, by holding up other sci-fi shows which kept on going with just 3-4 millions tuning in each week.

It’s too separate things of course: the conservatism of *executives* vs the creativeness of well, *creatives*.

To say that a film like Star Trek is easier to get greenlit by executives due its familiarity is a completely different thing from saying the people creating it are somehow lazy.

People in business make safe business decisions, no shit.

Or does Harris live in a world where people throw out multi millions of dollars on a gamble all the time.

It’s like these goons who refer to a particular movie as a cash grab. Do they seriously think everyone is out to lose their money instead?

After reading the article, I gathered that it’s best to stay home if you want quality (HBO, AMC, etc.); and if you want spectacle, go to the theater. Works for me, I guess.

But I wonder if certain audience members would be willing to pay more at the box office for an old-fashioned drama, science fiction or independent film with lots of “talkin” and a carefully crafted story instead of a string of special effects sequences with lots of *ahem* lens flares. You pay more for a bottle of wine (The King’s Speech) than say a bottle of Coke and some PopRocks (The Green Hornet). Give those filmmakers who care a little extra green and a little extra incentive to make more quality films. Well, just an idea.

Anyway, I know I would be willing to pay more for quality than… 3D Eye-strain-D, Surround Sound, Smell-O-Vision, Cinemascope, with a wire up the kazoo to let you really know when to be shocked at what you’re seeing… uh, Vision.

Harry Plinkett of Red Letter Media made the same point about brand recognition in his review of Star Trek (2009) (TrekMovie link below.) And Hollywood does look at the demographics of who goes to movies. Let’s face it, they can count on one audience for the multiplex: teenagers. (NPR story below.) That’s why we are going to get flooded with a bunch of superhero movies.

That doesn’t mean the death of quality cinema. If they release a dog based on a franchise, I’ll bet it won’t do good at the boxoffice. Okay, G.I. Joe did well enough for another sequel but if they make another dog, my guess is that there won’t be another. Remember “Van Helsing” based on the Dracula movies? And where’s Van Helsing 2? By the way, I didn’t hate that one but the critics did. But I digress. I won’t judge the brand recognition movies until I see them. One more thing, not every studio is going to be able to go to a brand and make a movie out of it. There is always room for original movies that can be a new franchise to a studio. That may be worth the risk.

1) TrekMovie story with Harry Plinkett’s video review. His discussion of brand recoginition starts with part one at 6:30,

2) NPR article on who Hollywood makes movies for; TV is smarter

@ 13 Vultan

I loved eating popcorn while watching “The King’s Speech.” :-) i think too often the bean counters influence too much on what gets made and what is to put in movies. Too often, filmmakers use the term “modern movie audience” as a euphenism for the masses. But they should realize that intelligent movies can make a lot of money. See “Inception.”

Some of this year’s nominees for Best Picture have done well at the boxoffice. “The King’s Speech” has commerical appeal but it doesn’t go for the lowest common denominator. So, let’s hope these “artsy” films continue to do well. By the way, “The King’s Speech’ is just remarkable. Holds your interest with just dialouge. Warm and inspiring. Fellow Trekkers, if you have not seen it, make it so.

USA Today article on the nominees doing well at the boxoffice.

@12 — Hollywood is a business, yes, but it is one based in creativity. No one here is expecting the suits to fund the truly experimental — and when I say truly experimental, I mean something like “Eraserhead” — because that is the domain of indie, small budget productions. I don’t think it’s unrealistic to expect Hollywood to look out for fresh *and* commercially viable ideas. A little risk-taking is good for any business, really, as it keeps the consumers happy by preventing stagnation (not that the consumers don’t also fall for the tried and true, but the bottom will fall out of any formula, sooner or later).

Case in point: Christopher Nolan was a nobody, came up with Following, and wowed enough people with that fresh take on narrative and neo-Noir that he got to make Memento. That, in turn, wowed enough people that he got to do bigger budget fare like Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and then Inception. Inception is a truly fresh work, in the same vein as Nolan’s earlier movies, so that’s a good example of risk taking that pays off.


Same way I feel about Simon Pegg. He was not Scotty to me but I think Simon Pegg is a great comedy actor.


Nothing wrong with loving the reboot, a lot of us do like the new movie.

I can say I like it even though I prefer the prime universe.


But Hollywood is playing it too safe and doing reboots and remakes instead of taking a chance on something new.

The article that Simon Pegg linked to was stating how the studio acknowledged that Inception was a big hit but it is NOT encouraging Hollywood to do more films like that, a more thinking film, they see Christopher Nolan more as a brand name because of The Dark Knight. The Hollywood executives won’t acknoweledge that there is an audience for the more ‘high brow’ film.

It’s a shame.

There is the saying that 97% of movies are mediorce and crap but that 3% is great. I do find there are more bad films out than good films.

There’s another blog writer who took a slightly different take on this same question: Have movies gotten worse in the last ten years? For my money, absolutely!

I remember enjoying trips to the theater to see great movies and, later, adding them to my laserdisc and DVD collection (yeah, I was a laserdisc early adopter. Anyone want to buy my 25th Anniv TOS movie collection?) But lately? Movies worth paying to see in the theater once are now few and far between. Good storytelling has been replaced with 3D gimmickry and nonsense. Good characters and good writing have been replaced with constant rehashes of sex jokes and vampires. Its amazing to me that anything creative and different, such as movies produced by Pixar, ever see the light of day.


The problem is how do make something fresh and new, while respecting the old? As good ol’ JJ.

I have to agree with Simon Pegg. First it was sequels, then remakes, now reboots and sequels to the reboots. Look at Superman. We had 3 sequels, then a sequel to the first 2, now a reboot. How about Spiderman.

I remember Data saying in TNG “The Neutral Zone” that TV died out by the mid 21st century. I’m starting to think that might be possible. People eventually are going to get bored with the constant recycling of old ideas, plots and movies. Eventually they are going to say “Didn’t I see that about 50 times before?”

What I liked about Star Trek (2009) in this age of reboots is that it managed to reboot the franchise without ignoring what came before. It gave a fresh start to allow new fans to come on board while at the same time being a sequel for older fans, and giving us some insight into how these characters began (though Nero’s incursion obviously caused differences from how they originally began).



It’s a reboot but it’s aparalle universe that allows what cam before to remain intact. And therefore adds to it rather than take away from it.

This is all undeniably true, but commerce has always had a hand in art — always, going back through the centuries. The only pure artist is a starving one, people.

Even Inception took it’s inspiration from a Scrooge McDuck comic. Look it up.

Pegs new movie is just like ET but more funny

Reboots of Reboots and remakes is most of what we see. But there are a few movies out there that are fresh. But not many. But. As long as Star Trek is on. That is all I care about.

Trek certainly did its share of borrowing… but, we love it because it got the mix right. Something new came out of all that borrowed stuff. That’s not the problem. The problem with the Hollywood studios is that once something succeeds they grab it whole and make the same exact thing over again. Seriously, how many sequels do we have to see that have the same exact lines built in. Yikes. (Even the Trek movies did that.) Once a franchise is born, it needs to grow and change… somewhat.

Of course, I’m dreaming.


I don’t think you get it. The whole concept of ‘franchises’ is the problem, not the lack of creativity within them.

I have to take the other side on this.

I don’t know of anyone who complained each time a Doc Savage book was released, and it’d be rare for many here to moan that ‘another Star Trek book is too much. One is enough.”

The problem is not that we get new chapters every few years of franchises we enjoy, it’s that the studios get sloppy: Superman I & II, then III and, um, IV, STV, Batmans 2-4 (pre-current series), Spiderman 3, X-Men 3, Jaws 3-D, Meninblack 2, Robocops 2 & 3, the SW prequels, etc.

I like seeing my favorite characters re-appear every few years on film, but studio execs will let bad scripts pass more often based on previous successes. It’s either to milk the premise until it dies, or a misguided feeling that the unwashed masses will show up anyway (and they do).

star trek is a brand that was ruined by JJ Abram’s monstrosity.

even though the brand was familiar, the film was unrecognizable as star trek.

it was a reinvention in many ways and did not play to the expectation of fans. it was rushed, sloppy, convenient, and more like star wars than anything resembling trek.

i have very low expectations for the sequel – another butchering by abrams.

There are no original ideas anymore.

Agree with Pegg entirely.


You speak for yourself buddy! I loved it, brewery an’ all ;-)


the budweiser brewery? yeah – lame.

worst trek movie ever.


Your opinion. I respect it but, you know, a lot of hard-core fans loved the movie, me included!

And, to #33, the first time I saw the brewery I thought: “wow, this is an original take on the same old clean, aseptic engine rooms”.

The point of his tweet was to critque the article… read what he wrote again and understand the context. Pegg is not speaking out against franchises, he speaks in support of them.

#31. Never were.

maybe so, but for new ideas hey i know lets make a movie about some blocks, but one of them is an alien instead..

Did Simon Pegg have a peak at the story of the new sequel ? Hence he makes these comments ? I’m getting worried about the story of the sequel now. Can Boborci weigh in on this ?

Pegg: “Doesn’t mean JJ didn’t make an amazing film though.”

What? A movie you’re a part of is amazing? What a shocker. I think most, if not all movies had it’s creators and actors go into them with this frame of mind. Heck, listening to the commentary tracks for Battlefield Earth, Boondock Saints II and every Uwe Boll movie always showcase how they think their movie is amazing. Not saying that this is bad, but I do wonder if the crew are completely oblivious or unwilling to see any fault in their own product.

When it comes to Star Trek, give the commentary track on Trek09 a listen and take note on how the participants constantly praise each other and declare almost everything they’re watching brilliant. I’m not holding my breath that the next Trek film will be any better.

30. Captain Braxton – February 24, 2011

Really? How so? TNG was unrecognizable from TOS, and you could argue that every series and movie moved away from the TOS model.

This has been argued ad nauseum, but really, when you call an effort “a monstrosity” how was it unrecognizable from TOS? Abrahms and crew were tasked with revitalizing a brand that had, in fact, become boring. That they have done – and they have the box office to prove it. The fan base is just going to have to accept that means some changes, and for the most part they have been good ones.


You’re kidding, right?

“I’m not holding my breath that the next Trek film will be any better.”

Neither am I, though comments from the producers give me some hope that it might at least be more substantive.

Pegg just won some points with me. :)


The difference between J.J Abrams and Uwe Boll is talent. “Star Trek” is an amazing film, there can be NO DEBATE. Uwe Boll’s movies are crap. And his crew needed the work, so they aren’t going to say anything bad about him and his movies. J.J Abrams’ respect was earned. His films and shows are generally praised and well-recieved by critics and audiences alike.

And since you seem to know a lot about the tracks for those awful movies you mentioned, it seems to me that you are the sucker for paying to see those movies, let alone be willing to listen to those commentaries.

@24. “Even Inception took it’s inspiration from a Scrooge McDuck comic. Look it up.”

Sorry, never heard of this comic. So I doubt Nolan knew about it as well.

@41 “This has been argued ad nauseum, but really, when you call an effort “a monstrosity” how was it unrecognizable from TOS? Abrahms and crew were tasked with revitalizing a brand that had, in fact, become boring. That they have done – and they have the box office to prove it. The fan base is just going to have to accept that means some changes, and for the most part they have been good ones.”


If Pegg wanted to, he could certainly have refused to do the ALF reboot…whoops, I mean his new “original” movie that is coming out.


45. Red Dead Ryan – February 24, 2011

I’m guessing Roger Corman and Ed Wood (and Uwe Boll) have their fans, too. It’s a free country.

Paul? Isn’t that Roger from American Dad?